NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 6/1/11

June 1, 2011

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Tom Shillue and Judah Friedlander

Star storyteller Tom Shillue and star stand-up Judah Friedlander perform tonight at "Monsters"

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 2:00 pm: “Something worth watching. Could be a movie, or a TV show. Might be populist and unapologetically entertaining, or hard to find and harder to understand. But you will always leave saying, ‘I am glad that I saw that.'” Hosted by The PIT’s Chris Grace, today’s free film is a highly acclaimed 2006 drama from Thailand about life in a hospital (don’t know why Chris is picking dramas, but he’s going for quality…): Syndromes and a Century

[FREE] 6:00 pm to midnight: Six free hours of improvisation at The PIT’s Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm, 8:30 pm, and 10:00 pm ($5): Magnet house troupes performing improv, followed by a free show at 11:30 pm: The Magnet’s Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): A one-man show from Paul W. Downs that I haven’t seen but have heard good things about: The Paul Downs Syndrome

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Red-hot rising star Mamrie Hart somehow manages to be razor-sharp and immensely warm & accessible at the same time, and is always worth catching (for Mamrie’s genius Mother’s Day video, please click here). Her show tonight with sketch partner Stephen Soroka is more sweet & silly than hilarious, but come to have luminous Mamrie make you smile at BoF: It’s Pronounced ‘Boaf’!

…and in the other half of this double-bill, superb Chicago-trained comics Jordan Klepper and Laura Grey perform an acclaimed sketch show in which “they’re bringing their baggage to the stage and dumping it all on you” in Baggage

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8 at the door, $6.84 online with discount code Supermango): Adam Wade (two-time Moth GrandSlam Storytelling Champion (2006 & 2009) and record-breaking 17-time StorySlam Champion; The New York Times Magazine; host of hilarious monthly storytelling extravaganzas Real Tales of College and The Adam Wade show; for Adam’s award-winning tale of being an NBC page on Conan O’Brien, please click here), Christian Finnegan (co-star of TBS’ Are We There Yet?; three Comedy Central specials; MSNBC, VH1’s Best Week Ever, Chappelle’s Show, The Today Show), Carmen Lynch (Last Comic Standing finalist, Comedy Central), and Liam McEneaney (Comedy Central, VH1’s Best Week Ever, host of Tell Your Friends) performing at the Bowery Poetry Club with host Dan Allen: ¡Sacapuntas!

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5—which includes a free beer!): Star stand-up Judah Friedlander (30 Rock, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, author of How to Beat Up Anybody), star storyteller Tom Shillue (Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents), and stand-ups Sam Morrill and Maddog Mattern performing at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Nick Turner: Monsters

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm: Brooke Van Poppelen (brilliant stand-up, writer, and storyteller; blogger for trutV; TLC; co-host of Dive Comedy; for stand-up videos about overindulging at 30 and impersonating Morrisey, please click here and here), Jeffrey Joseph (Jay Leno), Josh Rabinowitz (College Humor), Lucas Molandes, and Alon Elian performing in a Brooklyn bowling alley (no, seriously) called The Gutter (200 North 14th Street) hosted by Aaron Glaser & Lee Rubenstein: Get Loose

[TOP PICK] 9:30 pm ($5): Comedy geniuses Gavin Speiller (Death by Roo RooRogue Elephant), Ben Rodgers (The CurfewCage Match), and Jon Gabrus (Conan O’Brien, Best Week Ever, The Nights of Our Lives) comprise one of the most hilarious improv trios in NYC, and they’ll demonstrate that tonight as troupe Outlook of the Poet; and Neil Casey & Anthony Atamanuik, both genius members of Death by Roo Roo, perform the jaw-dropping feat of making up an entire feature film as The Two-Man Movie

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Vanessa Hollingshead (Comedy Central Presents; new comedy DVD Because I’m a Lady), Katina Corrao (HBO, Comedy Central), and Calvin Cato performing at the Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (542 Tenth Avenue, between 45th & 46th Streets) for a gay-themed show hosted by Adam Sank: That Sank Show

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: Host Justin Purnell (The Colbert Report) providing as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; and this is often one of the most amazing comedy shows in town. Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a show makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open-mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

For full details, please visit

If you know anyone who might have a thyroid problem, please tell them about my new book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease.